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(506) 2223-1327      Published Wednesday, June 24, 2009,  in Vol. 9, No. 123       E-mail us
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Arenal and Turrialba inspections
No immediate volcano eruptions reported likely

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Inspections at two of the nation's most active volcanoes suggest that no major eruptions are likely soon.

Experts from the Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica visited both Arenal and Turrialba this month and have not reported any evidence that a major event is likely.

Arenal had a small eruption coupled with a loud noise June 16, and a team led by vulcanologist  Jorge Brenes visited the mountain near La Fortuna the next day. They reported that an avalanche of ash and rock took place down the west side of the mountain, a normal event considering the buildups of the material around the cone.

The collapse of ash may have been caused by the impact of the sound wave.

At Turrialba, Brenes and other experts reported that they found no relevant changes in the behavior of the volcano. The mountain continues to emit acidic gases along its western flanks, as has been the case for three years. Vegetation has been affected for a distance of about 3 kms. or nearly two miles.

Brenes and a coworker, Tomás Marino, reported that they found no evidence in the craters at the
peak of the volcano of ash. Locals had said that the volcano may have put out that material.

The visitors also found no changes in the fumaroles of the crater based on observations from a year ago, they said.

The conclusion is that deformations in the surface of the volcano are caused by magma liberating gas but without sufficient force to cause an eruption in the short term, said the report.

The Observatorio Vulcanológico is based at Universidad Nacional in Heredia.

The two mountains represent different expectations on the part of Costa Ricans. Arenal is a principal tourism attraction, and when the weather is clear  visitors can see hot ash and red rocks falling down away from the crater. A report of additional activity is great for tourism.

On the other hand, many Central Valley residents remember the 1963 eruption of Irazú, the twin of Turrialba. That is when tons of ash spread over the region causing extensive and continuing cleanups. Residents would prefer that this not happen again.

Turrialba has not erupted since the middle of the 19th century, although gas has been emitted off an on for many years.


Universidad de Costa Rica party to case
High court case needed to get soap and toilet paper

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Although it may seem trivial for a constitutional court case, the Sala IV has ordered a branch of the Universidad de Costa Rica to keep soap and toilet paper in the public bathrooms.

The court appeal came from an individual identified as Danilo Rodríguez Montero who brought up the issue in early May. The appeal said, in part, that the arrival of the swine flu increased the importance of hand washing. Specifically cited was the Facultad de Ciencias Agroalimentarias.
The university responded with the complaint that toilet paper and soap had a tendency to vanish when placed in a public bathroom.

The case did not mention the fact, but the Universidad de Costa Rica, at least in some of the arts and letters building, even is missing all of the toilet seats. These are the apparent result of thefts.

That argument did not sway the court, which ordered that soap and toilet paper be made available in the rest rooms permanently as soon as the order was received by university officials.


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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, June 24, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 123

Costa Rica Expertise
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Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.


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Integrated study is sought
of stops and bus drivers


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Defensoría de los Habitantes is taking on the bus lines with multiple complaints over legal and illegal stops, bad manners by drivers, noise and pollution.

The Defensoría said that it had received many complaints from citizens, including some who live near bus and taxi stops.

The office is asking the Consejo de Transporte Público to do an integrated study of the problem.

The Defensoría turned over reports on several cases to the consejo and said that another problem is bus drivers who keep their engines running and generate extra air pollution that damages the health of those in the vicinity.

A lack of sidewalks and a lack of parking for buses compounds the situation, the office said.

Our readers' opinions
Crime situation fails to get
response from the rich


Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Another blow to tourism: Sadly and angrily, I read about the shooting of an Israeli tourist at a Jacó hotel by the cowardly scum that prowl at night. Where was the hotel guard when the scum broke into the man's room? Where were the police? The do-nothing attitude of underpaid and understaffed police departments and the judges who allow the animals to be free to go on robbing and killing is disgusting.

Guns are as easy to obtain as a cup of coffee. Maybe the Costa Rican government should hire an Israeli army group to clean up the problem. Rich Ticos and government officials, (and many Gringo employers) simply turn their backs to the problem while paying the employees slave wages. Simply stated, they don't care, because it doesn't affect them, especially their God----Money, and their well-guarded homes. And they go to church too. What a joke.

While a few of us Gringos support our police by assisting in fixing police vehicles and helping them in other ways, the rich Ticos, all the way to the top government officials, do nothing but give lip service. I also recently read where thieves offered to sell a car they had stolen back to the owner. When he asked judicial agents to go to the meeting with the thieves, the response was "No, it's too dangerous."Nice, huh?

Wake up, Ticos. Your country is becoming a war-zone and the scum are winning.
Barry Schwartz 
Escazú

Journalists do not need
a government license


Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

The A.M. Costa Rica story on Brazil not requiring a university degree to be a journalist brings up once again the issue of government licensing for professionals. Is licensing a protection of the public or protection of a professional group?

In the case of journalism, it is mostly a protection of a group. Nobody’s life is at stake if a journalist makes a mistake on reporting an accident or the outcome of a dog show. The other professionals, yes. True, a false story on economic matters could have dire personal finance consequences.

Writing an accurate story on the happenings of an event or giving an interpretation of what those happenings mean requires only a few things: a keen observational eye, common sense, a reasonable degree of knowledge and good word craftsmanship, self-taught and/or learned, no long and tedious hours with your nose stuck in book, memorizing body parts functions, tensile strengths of material, or reactions of elements mixed together, as doctors, civil engineers and chemists have to do.

There is a responsibility, nonetheless, a big moral one, in being a journalist. What they write or speak is presumed to be true and accurate, and with that the public becomes informed. Most journalists carry out well that responsibility, for they are fully aware of the power of the word, written or spoken, how it molds the perceptions of reality, and accompanying decisions made.  Not all journalists uphold that responsibility, some are hired guns, or pens — a better word — to harm the opponents of their bosses, be they private or political, or to spread falsehoods about certain agendas.  Some journalists hide the truth, distort the facts, or flat out make up stories to sell their wares.

A journalist has to prove his or her ability to the boss or the job is of short duration.  It matters not to the boss if the person has a degree or not, unless the newspaper is being published in a country, like Costa Rica, where talent-less, but diploma-holding journalists are given a status they are not worthy of.

We should place honest and gifted journalists on a higher pedestal than we do. They are the ones who often put their lives at risk just so you and I can be informed and know the truth. Do they need a government license to do their job? Me thinks not.
Robert Nahrgang S.
Escazú

Garland Baker criticism
is not backed by research


Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

In response to Ms. Smith's opinions regarding Garland Baker's recent article about the gender bias in family law in Costa Rica, her opinions are just that, opinions.

Having implied that she wasn't well acquainted with his credentials or the bulk of his other articles, stating that she had read only some of his articles, it appears that she may be jumping to opinionated conclusions herself.

If she were familiar with his qualifications to publish his educated opinions, she might have pursued the available facts further and reached an educated opinion herself.

It has been well known amongst those who are well informed that gender bias, in favor of females, in family law has dominated judicial decisions and been the ruin of many men, particularly foreigners, for quite some time. One doesn't have to be a victim or even a member of the male sex to be outraged by the injustices suffered by individuals and families whose fates are too often sealed by laws that are inherently unjust.
Pamela Ellsworth
Nicoya Peninsula
.
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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, June 24, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 123


Red Mango Real estate
Noda's newest


Documentary tells of Nicoya islanders fight for their land
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The islands in the Gulf of Nicoya are like in a parallel universe. Those who live there can see the mainlands but seldom go there. Life is harsh. Nutrition is less than adequate. And most of Costa Rica pays them little attention.

But not Sonia Mayela Rodríguez, an employee in the audiovisuals section of the Universidad Estatal Distancia. She has prepared a documentary on those who live on  Chira, Venado and Caballo, the small islands.

The work is called " La paz de los humildes," which translates to "The Peace of the Poor."

The documentary will be shown today at 3 p.m. in the
main office of the university, which is 800 meters east of the Betania traffic circle on the road to Sabanilla.

The documentary has a political motive. Ms. Rodríguez did it to counter a proposal that is working its way through the Asamblea Legislativa. The proposal would restrict the property rights of those on the island even though some families have been there 100 years or more.

Naturally the pressure on the island residents comes from the possibility that the properties would make good tourism locations.

Ms. Rodríguez said she made the documentary as a way to give the island residents some power in their battle with officialdom.


Famous Japanese violinist to play with symphonic orchestra
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The celebrated Japanese violinist Midori will be the principal soloist Friday and Sunday with the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional. She will play the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D Major Opus 35, according to the program. 

But the visitor is working all week with Orquesta Sinfónica Juvenil and with the Sistema Nacional de Educación Musical. She also will be giving master classes for other student musicians. In addition she will play the first movement of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the youth orchestra Saturday.

Both performances are under the direction of conductor Chosei Komatsu

This is the first visit to Central America by the violinist, who uses just her first name. She is a U.N. messenger of peace and has expressed an appreciation for the national system of music and the efforts by President Óscar Arias Sánchez for musical education.

The violinist has four similar community involvement organizations in the United States to advance musical education.

The Symphony Orchestra performance is at 8 p.m. Friday and at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, both in the Teatro Nacional.  Tickets can be purchased online at the Teatro Nacional Web site or at the box office of the theater.
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Japanese violinist Midori


Water Store of the Americas
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You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, June 24, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 123


First storm of season moves away from México, but there's rain forecast here
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
and wire service reports

Tropical Storm Andres, the first named Pacific storm of the season was reported moving away from the Mexican mainland early today by the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.

The storm has winds of about 70 mph (110 kph) and is moving west-northwest at about 10 mph (17 kph), the center said. The storm is expected to weaken.

It appears that the storm will pass west of Baja California into the Pacific.

The hurricane center upgraded Andres from a tropical storm to a hurricane Tuesday, but then it weakened to a tropical storm by 6 p.m.
On the Atlantic front there are no low pressure areas that could become a tropical depression or a storm anywhere between the Caribbean and the African coast.

This is where most of the storms that have an indirect effect on Costa Rica originate.

There is a low pressure area off the Pacific coast that is boosting winds in the Caribbean and in the northern zone. There is a possibility of morning thundershowers in the southern Pacific, said the Instituto Meteorológico National.

The weather institute also predicted heavy thunderstorms during the afternoon in the Central Valley, the northern Pacific and the mountains of the northern zone.

These rains could extend into the night in these areas, the institute said.


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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, June 24, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 123




A.M. Costa Rica

users guide

This is a brief users guide to A.M. Costa Rica.

Old pages

Each day someone complains via e-mail that the newspages are from yesterday or the day before. A.M. Costa Rica staffers check every page and every link when the newspaper is made available at 2 a.m. each week day.

So the problem is with the browser in each reader's computer. Particularly when the connection with the  server is slow, a computer will look to the latest page in its internal memory and serve up that page.

Readers should refresh the page and, if necessary, dump the cache of their computer, if this problem persists. Readers in Costa Rica have this problem frequently because the local Internet provider has continual problems.

Searching

The A.M. Costa Rica search page has a list of all previous editions by date and a space to search for specific words and phrases. The search will return links to archived pages.

Newspages

A typical edition will consist of a front page and four other newspages. Each of these pages can be reached by links near the top and bottom of the pages.

Classifieds

Five classified pages are updated daily. Employment listings are free, as are listings for accommodations wanted, articles for sale and articles wanted. The tourism page and the real estate sales and real estate rentals are updated daily.

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A summary of advertising rates and sizes are available for display and classifieds.

Statistics

A.M. Costa Rica makes its monthly statistics available to advertisers and readers. It is HERE! 

Contacting us

Both the main telephone number and the editor's e-mail address are listed on the front page near the date.

Visiting us

Directions to our office and other data, like bank account numbers are on the about us page.


Obama and Ms. Bachelet
promise to work together


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. President Barack Obama said he hopes to cooperate with Chile on clean energy and other scientific initiatives, as Chilean President Michelle Bachelet visited the U.S. capital.

The two leaders met Tuesday at the White House. Afterward, Obama commended Ms. Bachelet on the way Chile handled its economy during the recent economic downturn, saying she is doing "an outstanding job." He also said Washington hopes to work with the South American nation on such projects as alternative energy sources and treatment for influenza and cancer.

Ms. Bachelet responded with compliments on Obama's foreign policy efforts and the government's response to the economic crisis. She said Chilean experts are working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control on flu vaccines in preparation for the U.S. flu season, which starts later in the year.

The State Department says the United States and Chile have agreed to consult each other on mutual goals including fighting poverty, improving education and enhancing social protection for lower income segments of society.

In a statement, the State Department says the United States will work with Chile to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms in the Americas.

Health care firm plans
medical tourism seminar

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Costa Rican Medical Care, a division of HSA Clearing Corp, will be sponsoring a medical tourism conference in San José Oct. 6 and 7.

Once people see the quality of the health care Costa Rica has to offer, they will be comfortable working with us and recommending our services to their people," said Tim Morales, president of HSA.

HSA is a leading U.S. provider of health savings account educational services to financial institutions, employee benefit companies and health agents. The company is promoting Costa Rica as a place where a North American can save hundreds if not thousands of dollars on medical care, the firm said.

Costa Rica Medical Care said that the purpose of this seminar is for insurance company executives, employee benefit managers, health insurance agents, third-party administrators, and other interested parties to experience first hand the hospitals and physicians that the firm works with.  Many U.S. residents pay for health care out of their own pockets, so quality care at a reasonable price is an attraction here.


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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, June 24, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 123


Latin American news digest
Three years and four months
is armed robbery penalty


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Four men who used a gun to stick up a bank customer and take 250,000 colons (about $440) each got three years and four months in prison in the Tribunal de Flagrancia Tuesday. The four were detained at their León XIII homes June 19 shortly after the crime and agreed to an abbreviated hearing before the court that was set up to judge those caught in the act.

They were identified by the last names of Batista Hernández, Jiménez Bonilla and two brothers with the last names of Díaz Gutiérrez. They likely will serve much less time.

One of the four spotted a man with the last names of González López leaving a bank in Tibás. The other three followed the man in a car and confronted him a short time later to take the money, said the Poder Judicial.

What the criminals did not know is that they were already under surveillance by judicial agents, who followed them and with the help of the Fuerza Pública took them into custody. At the same time their neighbors threatened and attacked the police to prevent the arrests, the Poder Judicial said.

U.S. veterans can visit
Barrio Escalante clinic


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A Barrio Escalante physician has agreed to pick up the care of U.S. military veterans who were left in the lurch by the defunct Hospital Santa Maria. The announcement came from Veterans Care International in conjunction with America Legion Post 16 in Heredia.

The physician is Milton Gutierrez Rodriquez, who operates Clinica Geriatrica Mayor, said a Veterans Care release.

The key point for veterans is that the clinic will accept U.S. military Tricare for the majority of the payment and veterans will not have to front the entire cost of medical treatment. That is what Hospital Santa María did. Other valley hospitals seek immediate payment, and the veteran has to get reimbursement from the U.S. government.




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